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CHICAGO TERRAIN

THE TERRAIN

Experience the Seasons in Chicago

Spread along the western shores of the great Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Chicago River, Chicago is known for more than its high winds. Warm and sunny summers in the city have long attracted lovers of boating, fishing, biking and just plain relaxing. The summer days are packed every year with festivals, concerts, and numerous outdoor events that carry out the city’s famed festive spirit.

Known as the "hub of the Midwest," Chicago is only a quick jump to many large American and Canadian cities, giving you access to skiing, hiking, camping, water sport and more. But why bother leaving? Chicago has tons of outdoor space and attractions, including 552 parks with over 7300 acres of grounds, 33 beaches, more than a dozen historic lagoons, 10 bird and wildlife gardens, nine museums, a couple conservatories and even more to be discovered.

Autumn in Chicago is crisp and clear and a wonderful time to enjoy the many walking and biking paths in the city, or to catch a football or baseball game. Winters are icy and the beautiful blue skies lure Chicagoans out to Millennium Park for ice skating or to the streets of downtown for the various holiday festivals.

But perhaps it is spring in Chicago that is most remarkable. The slow ascent of the thermometer brings the city to life, from St. Patrick’s Day parades (the city has two – one downtown and one on the South Side) to weekend-long Cinco de Mayo celebrations to the biggest blues festival in the world. It is a time to behold the changing of the seasons and the excitement of the city!

Climate, weather & conditions

PPerhaps boasting the most pleasant summer city temperatures to be found, Chicago is ideal for daytime beach-going, while evenings are cooled by refreshing lake breezes. Averaging in the mid-70s throughout the summer, Chicago is a great spot for lounging at the lake, reading in the park, sipping a drink on a deck or strolling through the city’s many historic streets. Despite its reputation as a chilly and windy city, Chicago averages 165+ warm days per year. So, spring, summer or fall, the chances of good weather is in your favor!

As Gary Cole, hometown native turned Hollywood star, once said, "I miss everything about Chicago, except January and February.” Mr. Cole wasn’t kidding! Chicago’s winters can stay well below freezing and experience an average of 10 inches of snow. However, the city manages to thrive despite the chill. If you can brave the cold, New Years Eve and Winter Delights in the city is not to be missed!

Size & Population

Chicago has the biggest metropolitan area in the Midwest and is the third largest city in the country. The most recent population estimate puts a little over 2.8 million people living within the city’s 227 square miles of land, which includes 29 miles of shoreline and over 100 miles of riverfront property. Chicagoland is the term used to describe the city’s entire metropolitan area. It includes the surrounding Illinois suburbs and townships, and some sections of Wisconsin and Indiana. Chicagoland is inhabited by more than 9.7 million people and continues to grow steadily.

Chicago has close to 200 individual neighborhoods that make up a patchwork of smaller communities, each with its own distinctive flavor and unique charm. Many nationalities are represented by the city residents and the diverse culture is part of what makes Chicago such an exciting and appealing place to live.

The median age in Chicago is 32 with the majority of its citizens falling between the ages of 25 and 54, perhaps influencing the amazing amount of energy in the city. The average household size in Chicago is 2.67 and the average family size is 3.5 (26% of the population is under 18).